At my age you can get a little emotional, so maybe this post is my hormones talking... hahaha (I need to go make some coffee a minute, I feel very strongly that I'm going to need some for this post!)
Ok, with coffee by my side let me see if i can get the thoughts in my head written down here...
I was thinking lately about my older girls and how life has kind of "progressed" to this age where I am a mother AND friend to them. I'll always be their MOM and they know there is a boundary when it comes to respect and the rules of the house, but I wanted to look back and try to see what/why/how it was that we are in this place now. I don't remember this type of relationship with my mom. Don't get me wrong... I LOVE my mom and we talk every day. Things are just different with my daughters. Or do I think they are different since this time around, I'M the mom?? I don't know. But even my mom mentioned the other day that the girls tell me much more then I told her and we just do more together. So I'm hoping that is the case.
So a little history first...
One of my closest friends growing up was a girl that came from a family of three daugthers and she was the youngest. These sisters sang together in our church, they were always together, they were a big part of my life and I LOVED going over to their house. It was a crazy, happy, loud, messy, fighting, laughing house! I remember when I would spend the night and just watch this family dynamic. I'd have kind of an "out of body" experience where I would just watch them, and pray that I had three girls and have that kind of life some day. Little did I know the Lord was getting me ready for the crazy, happy, loud, messy, fighting, laughing home I would have some day! And I'm SO thankful for that. (and thankful Lance was OK with this! :)
Our three girls have been such a blessing to us and NO, they are NOT perfect... and Lance and I are in NO WAY perfect parents. But I get asked by friends "how did you do such a good job raising your girls"... This always perplexes me because I don't think we HAVE done that good of a job. I really don't have the answer, other than ONE thing:
We. LOVE. them.
We don't "love" them when they look pretty, get good grades, help with the dishes, have new clothes, do good at sports... you get the idea. We love them. Always.
You know that verse in the bible, I Corinthians 13:4 "Love is patient, love is kind, it doesn not envy, it does not boast. It is not rude, it is not self seeking.... and it goes on and on. We DON'T have that one down! Believe me. This is not a perfect home. My golden rule in the house and I know I've said it a MILLION times...from the old classic movie, Bambi:
"If you can't same something nice, don't say it at all"
Ya that one... I just said it yesterday! Seriously, a Million and ONE times I've said it to them. Do you think they would have gotten it by now? hahaha Yes, if we were a perfect family... But NO, I NEED to say it, again and again! :)
That's what I think the Lord is telling us too...
Matthew 7:12 says: "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them."
We all WANT love don't we???
So GIVE love.
That is what I want my girls to know MOST. To put LOVE into ACTION. Everyday.
To LOVE others as Jesus has loved them.
SO... This crazy, messy, loud, FUNNY house of girls is a life that is FULL of LOVE.
And some rules, please don't miss that. This is not a "whatever makes you happy" home... There are boundaries. Raising our girls has been challenging. It's not easy. But children need rules and I think they even WANT rules. I believe they value these boundaries and gain confidence from them. And when they mess up, they know the concequences of them. But just like our relationship with the Lord and what's so wonderful about God, is His GRACE. We ALL fall short of what we know is right! We don't love at all times, we aren't kind to everyone. But we have a loving Father who forgives us, who SHOWED us what real love is. That is what I hope and pray we have showed our girls as they've grown up through the years...
But now let me jump back to the present, and possibly future...
Getting back to my older girls. (thankfully I have a few years until Isabella is a teenager) They are both very beautiful girls. There are plenty of BOYS that have thought that, said that and will think that about them. But I want those boys to see them for who they REALLY are. Beautiful on the INSIDE because of what they HAVE inside. The LOVE of the Lord in their life.
And can I say that I am SO proud of my girls in this way. They have grown up to be confident girls who know how to find the right kind of guy friends to have in their life. They have also found great girl friends as well that are encouraging, that are like minded and that life up one another. This is what we should all be looking for in friendships.
I won't embarress them here, but it really brings Lance and I joy to see the friendships they have made with guys that are respectful and kind, and can see that they are different. And that that difference is SPECIAL. It seems most guys don't want that kind of girl anymore, and that is truly sad. But we have prayed for the men who will marry our girls since our girls were born, so I know God has those guys out there somewhere... and it's quite exciting (as a mom, probably not for Lance :) to hear the girls talking about this and looking forward to this and praying for this some day... far off in the distance... hopefully not too soon... FUTURE day! hahaha
So to those furture young men in our daughters lives. Our girls know how to LOVE. They are going to LOVE you and I pray that YOU will LOVE them as Christ loves us. They are NOT perfect. They are not going to be beautiful every day of their lives, but they know that LOVE is the most important thing. Not money, not how they look, not how nice their house is... Those things aren't imporant to them.
I pray that Lance and I have have simply showed them LOVE.
P.S. I couldn't have prayed for a better partner in this story of Love we have written with our girls...
But then I'm pretty sure my parents were praying for my hubby when I was a little girl too. Thank you mom and dad. xoxo
1 John 4:7
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God."